Erewhon

Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
Posts: 4949
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA
Contact:

Erewhon

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:39 pm

• Erewhonian •


Pronunciation: er-ê-won-i-ên • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective, noun

Meaning: 1. Related to the mythical town of Erewhon, where people treat disease as a crime and crime as a disease and destroy machines lest machines destroy them. 2. Luddite, anti-technological, anti-machinery.

Notes: Just like pinchpenny, today's adjective works just as well as a noun. It is based on the proper noun Erewhon, the title of a novel about an imaginary region of New Zealand.

In Play: We have few Erewhonians in the world today: "The problem is not so much machines", said the Erewhonian rabble-rouser, "as the breakneck speed at which we are developing them." It may also be used in the sense of treating illnesses as crimes: "US politicians seem to be getting over the Erewhonian treatment of drug addiction as a crime rather than a disease."

Word History: Today's Good Word was the title of a book, Erewhon: or, Over the Range by Samuel Butler published in 1872. The satirical utopian novel was set in an imaginary region of New Zealand. Butler made up the name of this region by reversing the letters in the word nowhere and transposing the letters H and W. Where derives from Old English hwær "at what place", equivalent to Latin quo "whither", as Quo Vadis, a brilliant novel by Polish Nobel Prize author Henryk Sienkiewicz published in 1895. Both the English and the Latin words come from PIE root kwo-, stem of the relative and interrogative pronouns, such as English when, who, what and Latin qui "who", quot "how many", quanto "how much". Since PIE [k] became [h] in Germanic languages, these words are actually pronounced [hw] in those English dialects where initial H is maintained. (Now let's thank Rob Towart, no Erewhonian himself, for recommending today's enticing Good Word.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword

User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 4075
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Erewhon

Postby LukeJavan8 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:22 pm

A book I might have to look into. Sounds interesting.
Certainly never heard of it before.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----

misterdoe
Senior Lexiterian
Posts: 567
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:21 am
Location: New York City area
Contact:

Re: Erewhon

Postby misterdoe » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:19 pm

Is Erewhon anywhere near Waikikamukau (pronounced "why-kick-a-moo-cow")? That's New Zealand's "middle of nowhere." :)

User avatar
LukeJavan8
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 4075
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: Land of the Flat Water

Re: Erewhon

Postby LukeJavan8 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:21 pm

:D
Sort of like our 'podunk'.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----


Return to “Good Word Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: George Kovac and 3 guests